|Degree Level||Varies; some positions require only a high school diploma|
|Experience||Varies; employers may not require any experience|
|Key Skills||Strong command of English language; excellent communication, active listening, interpersonal, and customer service skills; ability to operate theme park equipment; first aid training; physical endurance|
|Salary||$19,280 (2015 median for all amusement and recreation attendants)|
Sources: Job listings from employers (August 2015); U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Theme park attendants work in amusement parks and carnivals performing a variety of duties, from maintaining equipment and ensuring customer safety to selling food and souvenirs. Most theme park attendant positions require a good deal of public interaction and communication skills. Theme park attendants must also have strong customer service skills and the physical stamina required to stand for hours at a time. Amusement and recreation attendants in the United States earned a median annual salary of $19,280 in 2015 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Get a General Education
Many employers who recruit theme park attendants will hire high school students as seasonal workers for some positions. Depending on the position, these seasonal jobs may require that the student be 16 years old, and other employers require a high school diploma or GED. While there is often no educational requirement for a job as a seasonal theme park attendant, potential workers should be people-oriented, outgoing, and have the ability to stand for long periods of time.
Theme park attendants may be responsible for doing basic inspections of the rides to ensure that they are in good working order. They may also be required to apply restraints designed to ensure the safety of the riders. Individuals who know how machines work and have some basic mechanical skills may be more effective in troubleshooting possible ride malfunctions to ensure the safety of their guests.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Cultural Studies
- Ethnic and Gender Studies
- Geography and Cartography
- Human and Consumer Sciences
- Human and Social Services
- Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
- Military Studies
- Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
- Political Science
- Public Administration
- Religious Studies
- Social Science and Studies
- Social Studies and History
- Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies
Become a Seasonal Employee
High school students may start their careers as theme park attendants by applying for positions as seasonal workers. Typical positions for seasonal workers include ride operators, room attendants, food service attendants, arcade operators, janitorial staff, guest relations clerks, performers, technicians, costumed character performers, and security officers. Individuals who work as seasonal employees will have the opportunity to learn more about potential long-term careers in the amusement park industry and determine which roles best fit their personal skill sets.
Consider a College Degree
Individuals who are considering a career in the amusement park industry may find it advantageous to obtain an undergraduate degree. In the short term, enrollment in college may be beneficial because some positions as theme park attendants are available exclusively to college students. After graduation, individuals who have obtained a college degree may find that amusement parks offer new career opportunities. Depending on the degree obtained, a career-minded individual may seek an advanced or managerial role. Theme parks also employ individuals in the information technology, engineering, business, hospitality, financial, and security fields.
Some theme parks have structured internships set up as training opportunities for individuals currently enrolled in a university degree program. These internships may be full or part-time, but they typically require that the applicant have completed at least one semester of undergraduate education. Some of these internships may include college credit coursework in such areas as hospitality management, corporate analysis, communications, human resources, interactive learning, marketing, and organizational leadership. Others may be more job-oriented and offer professional opportunities in the fields of technology, corporate management, creative design, operations, and marketing.
Once again, theme park attendants can generally find positions in the field while still in high school or with just a high school degree. However, some positions are only open to college students or as part of an internship.